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                              THE SCALA REPOSITORY
                           Structure and build system

This document describes the Scala core (core library and compiler) repository
and how to build it. For information about Scala as a languages, you can visit
the web site

Part I. The repository layout

Follows the file layout of the Scala repository. Files marked with a † are not
part of the Subversion repository but are either automatically generated by the
build script or user-created if needed.

      build/ †                  Temporary staging area for build products.
      build.excludes †          An optional build configuration file.
      build.number              The version number of the current distribution. †        An optional build configuration file.
      build.xml                 The main Ant build script.
      dist/ †                   The destination folder of Scala distributions.
      docs/                     Documentation of Scala. More in its own module.
           development/         Developer documentation.
           examples/            Scala example files.
           man/                 UNIX manual files.
      lib/                      Pre-compiled libraries for the build.
          fjbg.jar              The Java byte-code generation library.
          scala-compiler.jar    The last stable version of the Scala compiler.
          scala-library.jar     The last stable version of the Scala library.
          ant/                  Support libraries for the build tool.
              ant-contrib.jar   Provides additional features for Ant
              vizant.jar        Provides DOT graph generation for Ant
      README                    The file you are currently reading.
      sandbox/ †                A folder to test code etc.
      src/                      All the source files of Scala.
          compiler/             The sources of the Scala compiler.
          library/              The sources of the Scala library.
      test/                     The Scala test suite.

Any change to this structure requires a modification of the 'build.xml' file.

Part IV. Building Scala with SABBUS

SABBUS is the name of the Ant build script used to compile Scala. It is mostly automated and takes care of managing the dependencies.


In order to guarantee the bootstrapping of the Scala compiler, SABBUS builds Scala in layers. Each layer is a complete compiled Scala compiler and library. A superior layer is always compiled by the layer just below it. Here is a short description of the four layers that SABBUS uses, from bottom to top:

'starr': the stable reference Scala release which is shared by all the developers. It is found in the repository as 'lib/scala.compiler.jar' and 'lib/scala-library.jar'. Any committable source code must be compiled directly by starr to guarantee the bootstrapping of the compiler.

'locker': the local reference which is compiled by starr and is the work compiler in a typical development cycle. When it has been built once, it is “frozen” in this state. Updating it to fit the current source code must be explicitly required (see below).

'quick': the layer which is incrementally built when testing changes in the compiler or library. This is considered a actual new version when locker is up-to-date in relation to the source code.

'strap': a test layer used to check stability of the build.


SABBUS compiles, for each layer, the Scala library first and the compiler next. That means that any changes in the library can immediately be used in the compiler without an intermediate build. On the other hand, if building the library requires changes in the compiler a new starr (or in some case only locker if bootstrapping is still possible) compiler must be built in-between.

Part III. Requirements for SABBUS

The Scala build system is based on Apache Ant. Most required pre-compiled libraries are part of the repository (in 'lib/'). The following however is assumed to be installed on the build machine:
  - A Java runtime environment (JRE) or SDK 1.5 or above.
  - Apache Ant version 1.7.0 or above.

Part IV. Common use-cases

'ant -p'
  Prints-out information about all available targets in the build script.

'ant' or 'ant build'
  A quick compilation (to quick) of your changes using the locker compiler.
    - This will rebuild all quick if locker changed.
    - This will also rebuild locker if starr changed.

'ln -s build/quick/bin bin' (once)
'ant && bin/scalac -d sandbox sandbox/test.scala && bin/scala -cp sandbox Test'
  Incrementally builds quick, and then uses it to compile and run the file
  'sandbox/test.scala'. This is a typical debug cycle.

'ant newlocker'
  "unfreezes" locker by updating it to match the current source code.
    - This will delete quick so as not to mix classes compiled with different
      versions of locker.

'ant test'
  Tests that your code is working and fit to be committed.
    - Runs the test suite on quick.

'ant docs'
  Generates the HTML documentation for the library from the sources using the
  scaladoc tool in quick.

'ant dist'
  Builds a distribution.
    - Rebuilds locker from scratch (to make sure it bootstraps).
    - Builds everything twice more and compares bit-to-bit the two builds (to
      make sure it is stable).
    - Runs the test suite (and refuses to build a distribution if it fails).
    - Creates a local distribution in 'dists/latest'.

'ant clean'
  Removes all temporary build files (locker is preserved).

'ant locker.clean'
  Removes all build files.

'ant all.clean'
  Removes all build files (including locker) and all distributions.

Additional ant targets can be seen via 'ant -p'.

Part V. Contributing to Scala

If you wish to contribute, you can find all of the necessary information on
the official Scala website:

Specifically, you can subscribe to the Scala mailing lists, read all of the
available documentation, and browse the live SVN repository. You can contact
the Scala team by sending us a message on one of the mailing lists, or by using
the available contact form.

In detail:

- Scala website (links to everything else):

- Scala documentation:

- Scala mailing lists:

- Scala Trac bug and issue tracker:

- Scala live SVN source tree:

- Building Scala from the source code:

- Contact form:

If you are interested in contributing code, we ask you to complete and submit
to us the Scala Contributor License Agreement, which allows us to ensure that
all code submitted to the project is unencumbered by copyrights or patents.
The form is available at:

Thank you!
The Scala Team